Jerry Ku


 Professor Jerry C. Ku received his Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering from State University of New York at Buffalo. Some of Professor Ku’s dissertation research publications in the area of flame soot radiative properties have been incorporated into graduate-level textbooks, and referenced in defense oriented research.

He is currently an Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies of Mechanical Engineering Department at Wayne State University. He currently serves as the Faculty Advisor for Wayne State’s Formula Hybrid SAE project, and served 2011 – 2018 in the same role for EcoCAR hybrid electric vehicle student design competition projects. He served as founding director and co-director, respectively, for Wayne State’s nationally-unique multidisciplinary graduate programs in Electric-drive Vehicle Engineering (2010 – 2016) and in Alternative Energy Technologies (2003 – 2016).

His recent research activities include connected and automated vehicle controls development and testing, and electric and hybrid vehicle modeling, simulation, controls, testing, and optimization. Professor Ku has received research funding from Argonne National Laboratory Department of Energy, Department of Defense, NASA, National Science Foundation, Sandia National Labs, NextEnergy, and Michigan Corporate Relations Network. Professor Ku has a very strong dedication to teaching and mentoring students, and has been heavily involved in curriculum development and program accreditation at both undergraduate and graduate levels.


Courses Taught

Courses developed and taught annually since 2010:

  • EVE 5110 / ME 5115 Fundamentals of Electric-drive Vehicle Engineering – UG Seniors & Graduate
    • Vehicle dynamics and performance: drive cycles, road load, acceleration, braking, etc.
    • Basic powertrain and component modeling and simulation using MATLAB*
    • xEV basics – major components, powertrain architectures (series, parallel, …), etc.
    • Hybrid powertrain emission and energy consumption calculations
    • C• Fundamentals and engineering design and sizing of major xEV components (engine, motor, …)
  • EVE 7310 / ME 7315 Electric-drive Vehicle Powertrain Modeling and Simulation – Graduate only
    • Hybrid powertrain and component multi-physics modeling and simulation
    • Vehicle/powertrain/component controller (soft-ECU) modeling, DFMEA and testing
    • Comparing hybrid architectures based on emission and energy consumption, and performance
    • Methodologies for devising hybrid control strategies – rule-based (deterministic, fuzzy logic, …)
    • Model-based Design (MBD) in-the-loop testing – MIL/SIL/HIL (model/software/hardware)

Courses taught (prior to 2010):

  • ME 5210 Computational Fluid Dynamics and Heat Transfer – Graduate only
  • EVE 5700 Electric-drive Vehicle Capstone Design – UG Seniors & Graduate
    • mechanical and cooling system design; electrical system design; embedded system design
  • BE 3040 Engineering Problem Solving with MATLAB – UG and Graduate
  • AET 5120 / ME 5120 Fundamentals in Alternative Energy Technology – UG Seniors & Graduate
  • ME 4210 Heat Transfer – UG Seniors, MS (Convection and Radiation), and PhD (Radiation)
  • ME 4300/5330 Thermal-fluid System Capstone Design – UG Seniors & Graduate
  • ME 2210 Thermodynamics – UG

Research Interests

  • Connected and automated vehicle controls development and testing
  • Electric and hybrid vehicle modeling, simulation, controls, testing, and optimization
  • Experimental and numerical analysis of electric-drive vehicle battery pack thermal management

Recent Funded Projects

  • Roadmap for Design and Implementation of Automated Vehicle Functional System Architecture, Stoneridge, Inc., 2019 –
  • A novel neural networks based intelligent control for improving fuel economy and emission of a self-driving hybrid electric vehicle, Argonne National Laboratory, 2018 – 2019
  • EcoCAR 3 Hybrid Electric Vehicle Design Competition (, 2014 – 2018, DOE & GM
  • EcoCAR 2 Hybrid Electric Vehicle Design Competition, 2011 – 2014, DOE & GM 

Professional Affiliations

  • K-11 Committee Member, American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).
  • Member, American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics (AIAA).
  • Member, The Combustion Institute.
  • Member, The Engineering Society of Detroit (ESD).

Awards and Honors

  • Wayne State University College of Engineering Outstanding Faculty Award (2002)
  • Wayne State University Career Development Chair Award (1996)
  • NASA Summer Faculty Fellowship (1989 & 1990)
  • Wayne State University Graduate Research Assistantship Award (1989)

Personal Interests

  • Convective & Radiative Heat Transfer
  • Alternative Energy Technology
  • Computational methods in Engineering

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